NTSB Identification: ERA09LA348
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 14, 2009 in Fairmont, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N7544E
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that during the takeoff roll, the airplane "instantly" rolled on a 45-degree angle to the left and crashed into a ravine on the side of the runway. Examination of the airframe, flight control system, and engine components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. During further examination, it was noted that the elevator trim was in the full nose-up position. When asked about this finding, the pilot stated that he had forgotten the trim in this position before and almost lost control during takeoff, but was able to continue flying the airplane. The airplane's "BEFORE TAKEOFF" checklist instructs the pilot to set pitch trim.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate use of the checklist.

Full narrative available

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